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Litter mounts on Sweden's SW coast

STOCKHOLM, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Sweden's south-western coast has seen a significant increase in the amount of litter that washes up on its shores, researchers said on Monday.

Already one of the most littered coastal stretches in Europe, shores in the Bohuslan region have produced up to 20,000 pieces of trash per 100 meters over the past two years, according to Per Nilsson, a researcher at Gothenburg University.

"Those are the highest levels we have ever recorded. What it is down to is somewhat of a mystery," Nilsson told public broadcaster Swedish Television.

Since the early 2000, researchers had been discovering around 1,000 items per 100 meters on average, far below the more recent findings.

Beaches on the west coast of Denmark and in southern Norway had also witnessed the increase in plastic containers, pieces of wood, metal and other items washing ashore, the channel reported.

Around 80 percent of the rubbish is assumed to have travelled by ocean currents to the south-western coast of Sweden, known for its rocky shores, Swedish Television reported.

Bohuslan's coast appears to retain the trash that washes ashore to a greater degree than other European beaches, where water currents eventually pull it back out again, Nilsson told the channel.

"Bohuslan is one of the areas in Europe with the greatest problem. This is where we find the most trash in practically all of the north-east Atlantic Sea," Nilsson said.

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